U.S. measles outbreak hits 'completely avoidable' 25-year-high: officials




  • In US
  • 2019-04-29 17:11:46Z
  • By By Gabriella Borter
 

By Gabriella Borter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of measles cases in the United States has reached a 25-year peak, propelled by the spread of misinformation about the vaccine that can prevent the disease, federal health officials said on Monday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 704 cases as of April 26, a 1.3 percent increase since the most recent tally of 695 reported on Wednesday. The vast majority of cases have occurred in children who have not received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which confers immunity to the disease, officials said.

"The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday. "We know vaccines are safe because they're among some of the most studied medical products we have."

A vocal fringe of U.S. parents refuse to vaccinate their children believing, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them can cause autism.

Some 22 states have recorded cases of the extremely contagious and sometimes deadly disease. None of the victims of the recent outbreak have died, but 3 percent have contracted pneumonia and 9 percent have been hospitalized due to complications from the disease, CDC director Robert Redfield said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump urged Americans last week to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of measles, changing course from remarks he made in 2014 when he expressed doubt about giving children government-recommended doses of vaccines.

"The vaccinations are so important. This is really going around now," Trump said on Friday.

The current outbreak has been concentrated in New York City, where officials said more than 390 cases have been recorded since October, mostly among children in Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. Most of the recently recorded cases have been in New York and Los Angeles, officials said on Monday.

The national outbreak has escalated since 82 people in 2018 and more than 40 people in 2019 brought measles to the United States from other countries, most frequently Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines, federal officials said.

Up to 10 percent of patients in the current outbreak are adults who had received one or two doses of the vaccine, the CDC said. Some adults may need a new dose depending on whether they received the recommended two doses of the live virus or if they are traveling into and out of outbreak areas.

Although the virus was eliminated from the country in 2000, meaning it was no longer continually present year round, outbreaks still happen via travelers coming from countries where measles is still common, the CDC says.


(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Scott Malone, Tom Brown and Bill Berkrot)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Israel moves to name Golan settlement after Trump
Israel moves to name Golan settlement after Trump

Now it is the namesake of a tiny Israeli settlement in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet convened in this hamlet Sunday to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the U.S. leader's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory.

Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks
Pompeo tries rallying foreign leaders in alleged oil attacks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reaching out to wary foreign leaders to frame alleged Iranian attacks in a Middle East oil shipping route as a problem for the world at large, especially for Asian countries vitally dependent on that oil. Pompeo, in a series of Sunday television interviews, emphasized the U.S. international outreach in the wake of what the U.S. says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz . The world needs to unite," Pompeo said.

Times
Times' Russia report is 'virtual treason,' Trump says

US President Donald Trump on Saturday accused The New York Times of "a virtual act of treason," after it reported the US is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid. Current and former government officials have described the classified deployment of American computer

'Who is the a--hole': The congressman who missed his anniversary to keep lawmakers voting until 4 a.m.
'Who is the a--hole': The congressman who missed his anniversary to keep lawmakers voting until 4 a.m.

Rep. Chip Roy kept the House voting until 4 a.m. on Thursday as a form of protest - even though he missed his 15-year wedding anniversary.

Trump: Iran a
Trump: Iran a 'nation of terror,' was behind tanker attacks

Calling Iran "a nation of terror," President Donald Trump on Friday publicly accused the Persian Gulf nation of responsibility for recent attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Trump said Iran's culpability was "exposed" by the United States. While Iran has denied being involved in the attacks, U.S. Central Command released footage it said shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.